Saturday, January 20, 2018

Human Affairs (Slamdance 2018) - Movie Review

The Movie: Human Affairs

The Director: Charlie Birns

The Cast: Dominic Fumusa, Kerry Condon, David Harbour, Julie Sokolowski

The Story: This richly earnest drama follows Geneviève, a surrogate who must reckon with her ambivalence about the pregnancy and her precarious feelings for the parents-to-be.

The Review:
Director Charlie Birns has put together a very heartfelt and emotional story that brings out some fantastic performances from his cast. Framing the narrative around a surrogate pregnancy was a very creative way to pull the characters in different directions emotionally. The two main dynamics being explored are how a husband who has a beautiful, successful, popular, caring wife, can still end up looking elsewhere for love and how a young, single woman can let loneliness affect her well being and allow her to fall for the one person she is not allowed to.

Julie Sokolowski is outstanding in her role as Genevieve, a 26 year old surrogate mother from France who gets literally and emotionally lost while in New York. Birns takes every opportunity to show all the emotion and expressiveness Sokolowski is able to give to the camera and she doesn't even hve to say a word to get her point cross. Dominic Fumusa gives a solid performance as the wavering husband and Kerry Condon, as the wife and mother to be, does great work in a supporting role and shows great range with a lot less material and screen time to work with.

Side note: Kerry Condon provided the voice for Friday, Tony Stark's AI in some of the recent Marvel movies so it was fun trying to compare her voice between the two characters.

The Verdict:
Human Affairs is a touching and, at times, heart breaking tale that leans on its acting performances to really sell the story. My one gripe is how the director chose to end the movie which, to me, was very strange and felt out of place against the rest of the story. Ether way, you'll want to watch this movie so you'll see what I mean.

Human Affairs is an official selection of the 2018 Slamdance Film Festival presented by DGA. coverage of the 2018 Slamdance Film Festival presented by DGA.

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